April 2, 2007

Matt Washington Cannot Tell A Lie

He really did chop down a cherry tree.

We got most of the things on our list done for Spring Break (possibly a result of trying to only put a reasonable number of things on the list this time, and not including world peace, either). The tall garden is three-quarters of the way planted (and if I don't get the last quarter in right away, I'll just call it succession planting.) The back yard got cleaned up some (though it has, as usual, a long ways to go). While we were out there, we found that the cherry tree nearest my office, which has always had to stretch for the light away from the maple and the hawthorne, was slowly toppling over onto our neighbor's roof (that sounds so terrible, though it wasn't a very tall tree even so; the roof of the neighbor's back porch, where it was resting, is only 2 or three yards from where the tree's base was.) It could have been the result of me redirecting the water from the downspouts into the herb bed, and quite close to the tree's root system. I'd feel guilty for hurting it, but it was suffering anyway from the lack of light (also, I never really liked it; the leaning meant all its branches were in our neighbor's air space, and the trunk was just in the way.) So down it came without incident.

Matt moved his office downstairs to what used to be the guest room (starting, as he puts it, his long migration to the basement.) It is quite convenient, actually, though I'm not sure how I'll feel about it when I have papers to grade again; perhaps by then he will have descended the whole rest of the way. For now, it's kind of silly to raise my voice just a little to say, "Check your email!" and have him read the note or whatever that has traveled through the Internet countless miles, only to land about 20 feet from where it started. Ah, modern technology!

We did manage some Spring Cleaning, notably the windows. (For the record, I do not do windows, which tells you who did. :-) ) One day soon we'll get the curtains hung again (guests be unafraid; we hung a replacement in the bathroom!) Other cleaning was not for Spring but needed doing just the same, and it's good to have caught up since we have three more insane weeks of practice, tournaments each weekend, and all the usual meetings and work and...well, you know how we are. My closet is one particular area that got tidied and rearranged; since it's a walk-in closet that's really a walk-through closet, I can't really close the door to keep the dust away from the clothes; it's been a problem. I'm hoping the current set of solutions will help keep the (DIE BUGS, DIE! ooops, sorry.) allergies at bay until we can move upstairs.

On the social scene, we enjoyed getting to hold Tamara's granddaughter, Irelynd (2 months, give or take). She is a beauty! (Matt asked if that made me want to have another one, and I told him "No! This is much better! I don't hurt anywhere, and I can enjoy the baby!" I can totally see why grandparents enjoy themselves so much. :-) ) We also got to see three of the four Davisons, and the oldest one (Ty) was able to finally get our computers networked. They're both hooked to the router, but we'd never quite figured out how to snoop into each other's hard drives; now we can, and Matt is happy, because he can use my CD burner to back things up. You just never know when you're going to need one of your stored Civ games... ;-) We also played much in the backyard with them, sliding down the slide and climbing on the rocks (one day soon, the rocks will become paths. But for now, they look persuasively like a plaything!)

And finally, I got our taxes done. All the rest of you are not supporting our lifestyle as much this year (in part, at least, because I'm actually employed now), although we still don't owe anything. While I don't enjoy getting a big refund--I'd rather have the money as I go--I also don't enjoy having a big state tax bill to pay. [Insert annual rant about how messed up the state withholding tables are.] So, the numbers coalesced correctly and we have a very small state refund and a several times bigger (though still not awe-inspiring) federal refund. I used the refunds to purchase a freezer (though I scheduled its delivery after the craziness ends), and we successfully Freecycled the fridge that came with the house to make room for the freezer in the basement. (And the location saved us some bucks now and later and hopefully agony down the line; I got a manual defrost, because the basement drain will only be about eight feet--directly downhill--from the freezer.) On my list of things to do is get more local and organic (both at once, which is probably possible!) food into our diet; the freezer will help, hopefully this summer.

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